There are different kinds of strategies to ensure that particular objectives are accomplished. This is accomplished by manipulating individual actions in a specific environment in relation to a particular habit. As such, it is important to determine the efficacy of any given strategy to ensure the desired results. Based on this, this paper intends to provide a U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy review on the need for warning labels to be included in all tabaco packages. According to the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2017), the purpose of the tobacco warning labels is part of the effort towards ensuring public health, especially youth, is protected. This is in line with the requirements of the World Health Organization that health policies should incorporate decisions, arrangements and actions towards achieving a precise goal as concerns the health of a community (WHO, 2017). In light of the tobacco policy signed into law by President Obama in 2009, the FDA is authorized to aid the government in supervising areas concerned with the production, marketing, and sale of tobacco products (Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, 2009). As such, it is expected that the warning labels will educate on the risks associated with smoking and reduce the use of tobacco products. It is from this that the effectiveness of the policy will be assessed.
To begin with, as concerns the goal of educating the public on risks associated with tobacco risk, the policy has been successful. This is based on the requirement that 50% packages top half, both in the front and at the back, should contain graphics showing effects of tobacco use on the health of an individual. In addition, the requirement for the word WARNING in 17-point black and white texts has acted as both a deterrent and a source of information on tobacco use (Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, 2009). As (Partos, Borland, Yong, Thrasher, & Hammond, 2013) indicate that the warning labels have not only achieved the aforementioned but have also been successful in increasing the levels of quitting among users as well as restrain relapse due to the ability of the labels to communicate knowledge concerning health effects of using the product.
Secondly, in assessing the effectiveness of the policy as pertains to reducing the use of tobacco products, the policy on its own has not achieved this goal. This is because the effectiveness of the policy has to be considered in light of different policies that are also focused towards the reduction of tobacco use. To this end, (Jung, 2016) indicates that policies that impact on the price, limitations on advertising avenues and those concerned with heavy smokers have worked together towards decreasing the rate of tobacco use. As such, the policy, when considered as part of other individual policies concerned with decreasing rates of use, can be considered to be effective.
The paper has presented an assessment of the effectiveness of warning labels on tobacco products towards communication of health effects and minimizing the use of the said product. It is the finding of this paper that the policy has been successful in employing a non-price process as concerns the communication and education of health risk information. Further, the policy can be deemed to be effective when considered with other individual policies towards decreasing the rate of tobacco use.
Jung, M. (2016). Implications of Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels on Smoking Behavior: An International Perspective. Journal of Cancer Prevention, 21.
Partos, T. R., Borland, R., Yong, H.-H., Thrasher, J., & Hammond, D. (2013). Cigarette Packet Warning Labels can Prevent Relapse: Findings from the International Tobacco Control 4-Country Policy Evaluation Cohort Study. Tobacco Control , e43-e50.
Tobacco Control Legal Consortium. (2009, July). Tobacco Product Labeling and Advertising Warnings: Federal Regulation of Tobacco: A Summary July 2009. Retrieved from Public Health Law Center: http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/fda-2007-4.pdf
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, March 20). Ensuring Compliance With Federal Tobacco Product Regulation. Retrieved from fda.gov: https://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/NewsEvents/ucm315450.htm
WHO. (2017). Health policy. Retrieved from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/topics/health_policy/en/